Responsive Search Ads: What You Should Know

I’ve found a lot of success for companies hoping to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack by creating ads that are dynamic, also known as responsive search ads. Search Ads can create brand recognition which can then be turned into increased sales. In fact, one study has shown that brand recognition is increased by 80% with online ads

Google advertising is one of the gold standards for the industry with over 60,000 searches conducted each and every second. (That’s over 5 billion searches a day!) As Google is now transitioning towards responsive search ads. I’d like to take a look with you at what this means and how it will impact your business. 

What is a responsive search ad? 

A responsive search ad is a new standard being used by Google. It allows an advertiser to enter multiple pieces of text (such as headlines and descriptions). Google then optimizes these pieces of text to find the best combination based on someone’s search. In this way, an ad can be more custom-designed to match up and connect with your potential customer.

How does a responsive search ad differ from past text ads? 

In the past, a Google ad was made up of a headline and body text. You simply wrote out the text and the headline exactly as you wanted them to appear in the ad. But with a responsive search ad, the text is typed in as “blocks.” These blocks can then be mixed and matched to create multiple versions of the ad. Google can then change these out and rotate them to match the parameters that you control in the ad’s settings. Because of this change, it’s necessary to think of each piece of an ad as a separate part. 

What does this mean for advertisers? 

Ultimately, this may not have a huge impact on some businesses. Responsive search ads are going to be the default, but it isn’t going to be the only option available. Extended text ads will still be supported. They just won’t be the automatic default when you start making a new ad. Google is still going to offer other tools to help you optimize your ads. These tools will give you the ability to personalize the ad features to meet your needs and to measure the strength of these ads.

What should you avoid when creating a responsive search ad? 

Basically, perform careful planning when putting together a responsive search ad. For instance, make sure your text blocks (or assets) are self-contained. If you have a headline and sub-headline that complement each other like two halves of a sentence, these could conceivably get mixed up when the Google system begins mixing and matching the pieces. This could result in an unintelligible ad. However, Google does have a setting in place for responsive search ads that allows you to pin the blocks of text together so that it will be displayed in the right order. However, other parts of the ad that aren’t pinned together will still be interchanged.

Why does this move to responsive search ads matter? 

At the most basic level, this is an important move for advertisers who will need to adjust their campaign to use these responsive ads (or at the very least make sure to select regular text ads when designing their campaign). 

However, the move also matters as it offers several benefits to the advertisers, including:

  • More flexible and responsive ads that will adjust to the viewing device widths; 
  • Time-saving opportunities that allow Google Ads to find the best combinations of texts; 
  • Increased wide-reaching ads that will improve the performance of your campaign and bring in more potential customers.

The Next Step in the Google Ad Space

Responsive search ads are simply the next step in the advertising progression for Google. By adjusting to this development, advertisers have the potential to create higher performing, more adaptable ads that will reach more potential customers.

Want Help with Your Responsive Search Ads?

Creating more web traffic and converting that traffic into qualified leads is what I do! If you’d like help with digital ads, social media, or email marketing, please fill out my contact form to schedule a consultation.

Top SEO Trends to Drive Traffic to Your Website in 2021

Emerging from an unprecedented year like 2020, it can be hard to know exactly what to focus your marketing efforts on. The world has relied so heavily on digital content that it has become overwhelmed by the amount of information available about a variety of subjects. It has felt at times like we’re all being fed enormous amounts of data from a hose.

2021 has already begun to offer glimmers of hope and that’s exactly what I hope to give you with these SEO trends. I want to help you cut through the noise and focus on what is important. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.

Here’s my list of the top SEO trends to drive traffic to your website in 2021:

Keep a Focus on Your Web User
This is my best tip because if you do this, you’ll naturally hit all the marks Google is looking for in a website. That means you need to create content your web users will find useful. They aren’t looking for a hard sell of your product or company. They’re visiting your website to find information that’s important to them.

Make your website as user-friendly as possible. This means have a clean site without pop-ups or site-registrations. Also, make sure it’s hosted on a server that can quickly load the website and is mobile-friendly. (Pages should load easily on a smartphone since over half of internet searches are performed using phones and tablets as opposed to computers.)

By doing this, you’ll naturally hit all the marks Google is looking for when ranking your website. This includes the Core Web Vitals which measure the user experience in terms of loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

Increase your web traffic by researching what people are searching for and how the pandemic has possibly changed their searches. It’s easy to continue to use keywords and keyword phrases from before the pandemic but so much has changed. Learn how searches have changed including not just mobile searches but also voice searches.

According to Andrew Dennis, Content Marketing Specialist, Page One Power, “Google is already showing you which results it thinks serve users’ intent, use this data for your own strategy.” He adds, “For me, SERP analysis will be an important practice not just in 2021, but moving forward as search intents change and Google continues to become more sophisticated to keep up.”

E-A-T and Long-Form Content

When it comes to making your domain authority page score higher, think of E-A-T. This stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (or Page Quality). These are the three metrics used by Google to determine how high to rank your page.

There are three ways to improve page quality ranking including:

  1. Back up your claims with statistics and links to reputable websites. Especially helpful are those with .edu, .gov, or .org sites.
  2. Create original content. If you’re just rehashing information found on other websites, you aren’t going to be ranked as high.
  3. Perform appropriate research on keywords. This includes looking for secondary keywords that can link back to your topic.

Long-Form Content
In the past, the idea was to create as much content as possible. As a result, many sites started to create small pieces that weren’t very informative or helpful. Now, the move is towards long-form content.

Research has shown that long articles (at least 3,000 words) will get three times as much traffic and four times as many shares as shorter content pieces. Besides these advantages, here’s something else to think about. An average piece of content is between 900 and 1200 words. Longer pieces get three-and-a-half more backlinks than average articles.

Local Search/Zero-Click Search

People search to find information globally with the internet (that why it’s called the world-wide-web). However, most people are searching for information about local businesses or services.

There are several ways to improve your site’s local SEO, including:

  • Creating a Google My Business account that will help your website get featured on the search engine results page (SERP).
  • Featuring strong backlinks. (Find inspiration by looking at your competitor’s backlinks.)
  • The power of Zero-Click. This is when the user’s search term has answered the search itself. The user no longer has to click anymore because they’ve received their answer. Many zero-click searches end with a featured snippet. Include helpful information on your website that can answer someone local’s question.

Video
According to Cisco, video content is projected to surpass all other content forms in terms of consumption. That’s why it’s so important to add this to your marketing strategy right now. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • YouTube (which is a part of Google) has more than 1 billion users. That’s a huge worldwide market to reach potential customers.
  • Optimize your video. Your videos will be a reflection of your business. If they’re low-quality, that will lesson what people think of your company.
  • Keywords are just as important for videos. Make sure you tag your videos with appropriate keywords that can get you search engine results.

Mobile SEO
Shelly Fagin, SEO Director and Founder, Highly Searched, Inc. sums it up best when she points out that “Google will essentially be ignoring your desktop site. Your mobile site will determine your rankings.” In fact, some analysts say all SEO is mobile SEO. Because so many are viewing your website on a smartphone or tablet, it’s essential that your site be mobile-compatible.

In 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing. This means the search engine looks primarily at the mobile version of a website. It considers this to be the “primary” version instead of the desktop version. If you aren’t sure if your website is mobile-friendly, you can check out Google’s free mobile-friendly test. This will tell you what you need to do to make it more compatible.

You’re Ready to Drive More Traffic to Your Website in 2021!
In your busy workday, you can’t do everything. But, if you focus on these areas of your marketing, you’re going to see increased web traffic in 2021. If you find that you need help with marketing to new leads and want to nurture your current clients, contact me to discuss packages to suit every budget!

What Do I Need to Know About Digital Ads?

A lot of people ask how I can help them achieve their marketing goals. Their goals are usually increased web traffic, increased quality leads, and/or increased gross income. I like to mention what I use in my toolbox and one of my best tools I use to achieve your marketing goals is with digital ads.

It’s been a growing fact of business for the last twenty years that Internet advertising is a huge market that businesses must explore to stay relevant and competitive. In 2018, digital ad revenue surpassed $100 billion in the United States alone. Unfortunately, many businesses still aren’t taking full advantage of this opportunity.

Let me share with you what digital advertising is, how it works, and the different options available.

The Key Difference in Digital Ads

Digital ads tend to be more personalized. For instance, if you look up information on hotels in New York, then you’ll begin to receive personalized advertising related to New York. However, the same isn’t true if you, for instance, watch a Travel Channel show on New York. This isn’t to say that traditional advertising is outdated or obsolete. In order to have a successful marketing plan, most businesses will need to mix traditional and digital advertising in order to reach the greatest number of potential customers.

The goal of any ad campaign, be it digital or traditional, is to get a positive return on your investment. Basically, you want to earn more money as a result of the ads than you spend on the ads themselves. 

Three Main Purposes for Digital Ads

Digital advertising has three main purposes: to inform, persuade, or remind. First, a digital ad should provide information, such as what type of products or services are available that you offer. Then, they should persuade the customer that this product or service is something that they need. To achieve this, you can explain how the product works or how it will make their lives easier if they take advantage of it. 

Finally, the ad should also remind customers of your presence and special opportunities such as sales and promotions. This component can also take the form of a targeted email campaign that reminds the customer of a product they were looking at online but didn’t purchase.

Types of Digital Ads You Should Know

There are two main categories for digital ads—display ads and native ads. Native ads provide the best return on investment and appear more natural to the reader, so they are viewed more.

Native Ads

Native ads are paid advertisement that does not look like an ad. It can be embedded into a webpage, such as Yahoo for instance so that it looks like a news article.

  • Social media ads — These are native ads that are made to look like social media posts, but which are actually paid ads for a product or service. These ads work best when they don’t appear to be ads. The best part is you can target who will see these “ads”. Targeting location, gender, age and other identifiers of your ideal client means you can focus your ad budget on those who are most likely to buy from you.

That means advertisers have to be creative about how their ads look. What’s even better is when you can get your social media ads into someone’s newsfeed. Why? Because then they can share it with others and spread your message to the masses. And businesses are figuring this out! One survey shows that social media advertising budgets have gone up 32% in the last year and should double in the next five years. 

  • Paid search ads — These are paid ads that are inserted into search engine results. This is where keyword research is important. For instance, if someone searches for “Tutors in Los Angeles,” a tutoring company in L.A. could pay to have their website listed at the top of the search. The only thing that will separate this search engine result from the non-paid ads is that this one will simply say “ad” in small print. (And it’s so small that many people don’t even notice it and just click.) This type of advertising starts with the realization that 93% of all Internet usage starts with a search engine being used to find information. 

I work with clients to reach their business goals by becoming a partner in their success. Digital advertising is just one part of a strategy to reach goals.  I’m happy to educate on the different ways we can get to the next level. If you found this blog helpful, please share!

Social Media during Covid 19

This is an unprecedented time that we are experiencing at the moment. Many small businesses are either closing or hustling to get an online store front set up. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said many time small businesses are the backbone of our economy and our community – and are in need of our support now – more than ever.

Part of keeping yourself afloat during this time means that you are likely relying heavily on social media to keep your face in the game and your brand in the minds of you customers. But apart from simply flogging your services / products on social media (which gets tiresome – especially for your customers) you may be wondering what else it is you can say?

If you are struggling with what to say on social media during this time – you are not alone. You know you need to be there every day – but you’re just not sure what to say without constantly just flogging products.

That’s why I’ve compiled a full week’s worth of Facebook and Instagram content ideas to help save you time during your already busy work week.

These ideas will help you achieve the perfect balance between building connections, adding value and building your brand.

Here are one week’s worth of social media content ideas to help small business owners get started:

#MotivationMonday “This too shall pass” or “Stay Strong”
find your favourite quote and let your followers know why it resonates with you – ask them to share their favourite quote.

#TipTuesday Share a helpful tip in your niche –
example 1: 10 fruits and veggies you can grow vertically for yard-challenged homes
example 2: 5 ways to tuck and tie a t-shirt for summer style
example 3: 3 foods you can eat to improve your skin overnight

#WellnessWednesday – Wednesdays are all about health and wellness – this is where you can tag healthy brands and products that your retail store may carry and encourage a conversation.

Wednesdays are a great day to schedule shout outs to suppliers and / or curate content from your own followers and re-post with a great big thank you.

#TBT Throwback Thursday: Share a photo or a memory reminiscent of less stressful times – explain the date the photo was taken and the meaning behind it (photo taken summer 2018 – the year we first brought in hanging strawberry baskets and they sold out in one weekend!) Ask your users to share a memory of theirs from the same time.

#FridayFunday: share something funny – a meme or something fun that relates to your industry to ring in the weekend.

The world has gone upside down for the most part during this Covid-19 crisis forcing small business owners to wear even more hats then they normally do. I hope this week’s worth of social media content ideas will help take care of at one less task on your already exploding to-do list. If you are looking for more social media content ideas, or if you are looking for complete “do it for me” social media strategy – please feel free to connect with me. I offer packages to suit every budget

Beginners Guide to Building Your Small Business Email List

I’ve been asked by a few friends who are just getting started in their business (and one who has been in business for a few years now…) how they can start building their customer email list.
And you know what? The answer is really simple – Are you ready for this? The easiest way to grow your email list is to ASK PEOPLE! Yup, that’s all you have to do 😊 Whether you ask your customers in person, or you pop a subscribe button on your website, all you really need is just ask.

Describe & Entice

I have found that the most effective way to entice people to sign up is to include a little description or a little teaser of what your customers are signing up for – here are a few examples:⁣

1- Get inspired by our before & after home reno projects (Sign Up HERE!)⁣
2- Sign up to enter our weekly Yoga Pose Challenge⁣
3- Waiting for it to go on sale? Sign up and we’ll email you when it does :-)⁣

Pro-tip:

When you place your subscribe button – make sure it is really easy to see – and you may want to put it in a few different places on your website (home page and contact us page)⁣

 

Why Email? Isn’t that so outdated?

And that brings us to the question of why would you want to email people? Isn’t social media just as effective – if not more? Yes and No. Social media IS so effective – there is no doubt about it. However, what would happen to your customer base if for some reason you could not jump on Instagram or Facebook? What if your account was hacked or what if Facebook went down for hours or days (remember last month?) If, for some reason you can’t access your social platforms then you will be out of touch with your tribe. All that work of growing your followers & fans could disappear. If you are serious about your business then make sure you’ve got a way to connect with your customers outside of social media. Make sure you keep control over your customer list and don’t rely soley on insta or facebook.

Do you need help getting started with adding a subscribe button to your site? Or need to think of something catchy to entice your customers with? Comment below with your question or DM me on instagram and I’d be happy to help 🙂

If you like this post and want to read more like it – subscribe below.